T-4: Trip to Wuzhishan - China Blues - CycleBlaze

August 13, 2020

T-4: Trip to Wuzhishan

While registering us, I accidentally forgot to mark that Sarah is not male. This is how I discovered that the gender options on this copy of the Registration Software are "Unclear", "Male", "Female", and "Didn't Ask".
Heart 0 Comment 0

Knowing that I was going to go to Wuzhishan today, and knowing that I'd told the police I planned to leave on the 15th, I thought it would be prudent to send a message yesterday afternoon asking if they still wanted to see me again one more time the way they'd said they had. Not because I really want to see them (trust me, I don't) but because I really didn't want to get a call from them after I was already 220km away.

Detective Zeng responded "no worries", they didn't actually need to see me. Any seeing of me could wait until after I got back.

So, imagine my surprise when I got a call from him this morning asking if I could come in this afternoon.
"Well, I'm kind of planning on going to Wuzhishan with some friends".
"How about tomorrow then?"
"I'm kind of planning on being in Wuzhishan with some friends."
"If it's convenient, you could also come in now."

It's not convenient. Of course, it's not convenient. I had weekend trip shopping (wine and cheese mostly) to do and I'm still not packed. Equally of course, I'm going to head there now. I'm going to throw some stuff in a bag, hope that I don't forget too much, and head there.

Today's interrogation is mostly about the Tramadol they found in my fridge, why I had so much, and how I got it into the country. It's not really that big a quantity when you consider how long I tend to horde old pills after they've expired but it wasn't a small quantity either. It runs over into the lunch hour and, after everything is summed up and written down and signed off on, they ask me if I'd like them to bring me some food from the staff canteen. I appreciate the offer but I'm pretty sure I won't actually be able to swallow any of it so I turn them down. Let them know just how much they stress me out.

I didn't have any paperwork handy to document that the Tramadol in my fridge legally belonged to me (nor do I think I could easily get it given the timeline), but I did have some photos from two weeks ago of my picking up an even More Controlled Substance from a Chinese hospital.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Hard to tell if they were actually unaware or merely acting unaware. Separate from what they've explicitly said to me on various occasions, they seem to be lacking a framework for suspects who are actively trying to cooperate with them.

The combination of my unexpected side trip to the specific police station that this specific branch of the criminal police work out of and much of the (currently reduced because everyone else is stuck outside of the country) Table A4 Gang being present at Chimac when I go to meet Sarah means that we completely miss the coach we'd intended to take. 

At the bus station, we get pegged as easy marks by a tout offering the services of gypsy cabs (in our case, an actual livery cab from Wuzhishan illegally operating intercity service) and head down that way. It's probably only a little bit quicker than the bus would have been but we have more room, aren't required to wear masks, and he drops us off directly at our hotel.

Lodging for Day 1 in Wuzhishan
Heart 0 Comment 0

For the first night in Wuzhishan we're staying at a place that I first knew because it was next door to VeloChina's original offices. It used to have the softest beds I'd ever encountered in China. In the 5 years since I last stayed here (rather than camping in VeloChina's offices or on the roof of Frank's apartment), they've changed the mattresses more in the direction of China normal and Sarah and I are both very sad.

Frank has some sort of mass start event on Saturday that I completely failed to notice he was organizing so he originally thinks that he won't have time for us to come by and visit, but he changes his mind and we end up spending a lovely evening up on the roof of his apartment. My tent has made it from his office to the back of his pickup truck with the intent that I get it but much wine is drunk and that doesn't happen. I have a new camping hammock which I planned to use instead of the tent so it's all good.

We couldn't get the plastic seal off of the cork. So I set it on fire. It was a surprisingly effective solution.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 0